Taylor, Robert and Charles Walker. The Air Combat Paintings of Robert Taylor. Published 1990-2009 by various publishers. Six-volume set signed and inscribed two times by Taylor and signed throughout by 51 fighter pilots. Presented in custom archival slipcases.
This six-volume hardcover set features hundreds of Taylor’s paintings as well as pencil sketches and photographs throughout. Volume I was published by David & Charles as a fifth impression in 1990. Volume II is a first edition printed by Vanwell and published by David & Charles in 1991. Volume III is a first edition published by Vanwell Publishing in 1996. Volume IV is a first edition published by David & Charles in 2000. Volumes V and VI are both first editions published by Griffon International Limited in 2005 and 2009 respectively.
Volumes I and II are signed in pencil by Robert Taylor on the half title page. Volume I and II are inscribed with “For Werner, Best wishes, Robert Taylor 26 Oct. 91” and “For Werner, With warmest wishes, Robert Taylor 26 Oct. 91” respectively.
Volume I features the signatures of twelve pilots, signed on many of Taylor's prints throughout the volume. Volume II has thirty three signatures from famous pilots, also scattered throughout the volume, and many next to depictions of planes they personally flew during the war. Volume VI has seven signatures form famous aces and pilots on the title page.
Robert Taylor is the most widely collected aviation artist. Taylor spent much of his life in Bath, England working as a fine art restorer. He was regarded as one of the most talented restorers in the West of England and worked often on many “old masters.” Taylor was 32 before he became a full time painter for The Military Gallery. The impact of his early restoration career and the old master painters can easily be seen in his popular, dramatic, and inspiring aviation works. In his aviation paintings, the artist conveys the technical details of the machines while still portraying a romantic scene. The planes retain realistic detail with scuffed paint, scratches, and dirt while still glorifying their deeds. Wonderfully pairing studies of the paintings with the signatures of the pilots at the event, Taylor provides an in-depth study of how his paintings were created and the process of combining art, history, and authentic details.
Overall very good condition. All six volumes are free of tears, stains, etc. The dust jackets have minimal scuffing from use, but are overall in very good condition. 53 signatures throughout, including two by Robert Taylor, in various inked pens and several signatures in pencil. Some signatures are very legible, with notations of fighter groups or squadrons, others are harder to decipher. On the last end page of Volume II, there is a signed black and white photograph of Jerry Johnson in front of a plane. The plane has “Jackson County, Michigan, Fighter” on it. The photo is signed upper right “Jerry Johnson” in black ink.
The books are housed in two sleek black archival slipcases decorated with one of Taylor’s paintings each. Some corner wear to slipcases. Dimensions: 12” H x 15” W x 2.75” D (one of two slipcases).